Democrats Are Spotlighting A Big Education Problem Pushing Kids Out Of School
For the first time, the party platform address the school-to-prison pipeline.
Democrats are giving unprecedented attention to a phenomenon that pushes kids out of school and into the criminal justice system.
The Democratic Party platform calls for putting a stop to the school-to-prison pipeline, for the first time ever. The platform, finalized this month, reads:
“We believe a good education is a basic right of all Americans, no matter what zip code they live in. We will end the school-to-prison pipeline and build a cradle-to-college pipeline instead, where every child can live up to his or her God-given potential.”
The school-to-prison pipeline describes an education system that funnels kids ― disproportionately black and brown ones ― out of school and into jail. Reasons for its existence include the proliferation of cops in school, who are more likely to be assigned to buildings where the majority students are minorities. School cops increase the likelihood that a student will be referred to law enforcement, even for a minor offense, according to research from University of Florida law professor Jason Nance.
Practices like school suspensions, which remove kids from classrooms as a form of punishment, add to the pipeline.
Research shows that just one school suspension makes a student more likely to drop out. High school dropouts are more likely than their peers to end up in the criminal justice system.
“For the first time ever, our platform calls for ending mass incarceration, shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline, and taking on the challenges of systemic racism,” Maya Harris, senior policy advisor for Hillary Clinton, said in a statement.
Marlyn Tillman, a member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign ― a national coalition of organizations dedicated to ending the practice of pushing kids out of school ― called the attention “unprecedented.”
“We appreciate these issues we’ve been fighting for a long time have finally been listed by one of the parties in their education agenda,” said Tillman. “Welcome to where we are and will be for quite some time. Our children don’t come with red and blue labels, so we challenge both parties to push for agendas that are child centered.”
One of Tillman’s sons fell prey to the school-to-prison pipeline. When he was in middle school, he was suspended for wearing what school leaders said looked like Democrats Are Spotlighting A Big Education Problem Pushing Kids Out Of School: